The system in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, and Lakeville for the collection of garbage, recycling and yard waste is known as “open hauling.” Open hauling allows residents to develop an agreement individually with any garbage-hauling company that is licensed with the City. This system lets residents choose their hauler, but may generate multiple garbage/recycling trucks servicing each neighborhood.
To alleviate the truck traffic, residents who live on the same street, cul-de-sac or neighborhood can decide to have the same hauler collect their garbage and recyclables for the entire neighborhood. Neighborhoods that participate in the Neighbor Block Rate Program can realize several benefits. Fewer trucks means:
- increased traffic safety,
- decreased noise levels,
- decreased wear and tear on city streets, therefore reducing the assessments to your property for roadway repairs, and
- decreased potential for air and noise pollution.
By setting up your neighborhood to be serviced by one hauler, there also is the possibility of a reduced monthly rate, and your group may also be able to request other services.
The Neighborhood Block Rate Program is a voluntary program that Dakota Valley Recycling promotes to provide safe, environmentally-preferable collection services. Neighborhoods can reap the benefits from this program for garbage and recycling collection and come together to work on these important issues.
How to Set Up a Neighborhood Block Rate Program
Someone will need to initiate the effort to set up the neighborhood for collection services. This “neighborhood organizer” can be one person, a couple of people, or a committee. The neighborhood organizer’s first task is to define the neighborhood. Once the boundaries are set, a list of addresses will need to be complied. This list will be used to inform neighbors about the Neighborhood Block Rate Program. Use a web-based mapping program such as Google Maps or Mapquest, or just walk through your neighborhood to create the list.
A sample letter informing residents about the program is included below. Using this letter, the neighborhood organizer can contact neighbors to determine how many households are interested in participating in the program. Be sure to add your address to the attached reply form so neighbors will know where to return it.
Once the neighborhood organizer has an estimate of the number of households that will be participating in the program, the different haulers can be contacted to determine options for services and rates. A sample worksheet has been provided (below) to give the neighborhood organizer a starting point for determining which haulers may fit best with the neighborhood's needs. Determining priorities for choosing a hauler may require a meeting of interested neighbors.
Once the worksheet completed, use the spreadsheet provided below and call each hauler that is licensed in your city (lists below). Once the spreadsheet has been filled out, haulers' answers can be compared with the worksheet to start the decision-making process. Work with interested neighbors to make a determination. After a consensus is reached, the hauler that was chosen needs to be informed of the participating residents. It is suggested that a list of the participating households be sent to the hauler with the name of the neighborhood organization so the hauler can check off the names as the residents call in to establish services.
Establish Collection Service
Residents who choose to participate in the Neighborhood Block Rate Program should contact the chosen hauler to establish the new service. The resident also needs to call their previous hauler to cancel their service. The neighborhood organizer may need to follow up with answers to additional questions from neighbors before service is established.
Contact New Residents (ongoing)
If the Neighborhood Organizer knows of new residents in the neighborhood, they may want to send a letter or call to let them know about the collection program that has been established. A sample form letter to new residents is provided below.
Information, Documents and Worksheets for Neighborhood Organizers
Use these documents to set up a block rate program in your neighborhood. You will need a PDF viewer to open documents.
- Relevant local ordinances [download PDF]
- Sample initial contact letter to neighbors [download PDF]
- Worksheet for choosing a hauler [download PDF]
- List of licensed haulers in each city [Burnsville][Eagan][Apple Valley]
- Speadsheet for calling haulers [download PDF]
- Sample letter to new residents [download PDF]
If you have any questions about the information in these documents, or about setting up a neighborhood block rate program, please call Dakota Valley Recycling at 952-895-4511 or contact us via email.